The Motion Picture Academy has faced so much controversy in recent years, but when it comes to diversity in Hollywood, there are encouraging signs of permanent change.
When actress Viola Davis was announced last year for winning the Oscar for Best Supporting Actress, her Oscar win felt like a big relief amid the controversy over all of the nominees in the acting categories being white.
"Moonlight" winning as Best Picture was another sign of progress. And with the receipts passing $400 million, "Black Panther" shows diversity sells.
"I think there is a thirst for it," "Black Panther" star Chadwick Boseman said. "There is a thirst to see these characters and these images.
A new study by UCLA backs that up showing movies with diverse casts regularly perform better at the box office. Brian Tyree Henry, currently appearing on Broadway opposite Chris "Captain America" Evans, agrees that diversity plays a huge role for our youth.
"Kids: black, white, Puerto Rican (and) Asian can literally sit there and see a representation they've never seen before," Henry said.
A description that surely applies to a movie nominated for Best Picture this year, Mudbound. The film has earned itself four Oscar nominations including one for its director Dee Rees.
There remains a need for greater diversity behind the camera, but as the UCLA study puts it, "with every milestone achievement, we chip away some of the myths about what's possible and what's not."
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